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  • Photo: Sam Janicki

    Photo: Sam Janicki

    Big 12 Weekly Recap (12/12/2023)

    This week had plenty of dual action including another iteration of the Bedlam rivalry. West Virginia continues to look like a top-twenty team this season, getting two conference dual wins. Wyoming and Missouri competed, with Missouri getting a big win at 125lbs. NDSU and UNI dropped out of conference duals, with some surprising individual results from both. Despite my pick for the Sooners, Oklahoma State dominated Bedlam for their 150th win. Between teams resting post-CKLV and finals coming up with the first-semester ending, next week could be another light week in the Big 12. However, look for Iowa State and Northern Iowa competing in the Collegiate Duals early next week. 


    Air Force (Overall: 2-1; Conference: 0-1): Dual Results

    The Falcons had their first conference and Division I dual this season, dropping to West Virginia 27-11. The team got wins at 133, 184, and 285. Joe Fernau could be a name to keep an eye on for the Falcons at 149 lbs, but was pinned by a red-hot true freshman in Ty Watters. Tucker Owens came razor close to beating Jett Strickenberger, dropping a 10-8 decision despite having riding time. Brenden Barnes got a decision win over Davin Rhoads. Sam Wolf earned a ranked win, controlling Dennis Robin in a 6-1 decision. Wyatt Hendrickson absurdly took only 1:20 to tech Michael Wolfgram 15-0. 

    Next Up: Air Force heads to Columbia, MO to take on the Missouri Tigers in another conference dual. 


    California Baptist (Overall: 2-2; Conference: 0-1): No Competition

    Next Up: The Lancers have road duals against NIU on December 15th and SIUE on December 17th. Look out for some wrestlers at the Reno Tournament of Champions on December 17th as well. 


    Iowa State (Overall: 3-1; Conference: 0-0): No Competition

    Next Up: The team competes in the Collegiate Duals on December 18th, with duals against Pittsburgh, Little Rock, and Cornell lined up.


    Missouri (Overall: 3-0; Conference: 2-0): Dual Results

    Missouri stayed undefeated with a dominant 40-6 win over Big 12 opponent Wyoming. In the match of the night, Noah Surtin avenged an 11-1 major decision loss to Jore Volk with a sudden victory takedown. The Tigers were without their typical starters at 133, 141, and 149. Their lone loss of the night came at 141, with Cole Brooks of Wyoming pinning Owen Uhls. They got wins at 133 with Kade Moore, and Nate Pulliam made a statement with a 21-10 major decision over the ranked Gabe Willochell. That is now back-to-back weeks where a Mizzou 149lber has upset a top 20 opponent. Rocky Elam made his dual debut, with a close win over a tough true freshman in Joey Novak. Of the nine wins, six were by bonus points. After a sluggish start against Oklahoma, Missouri wrestlers appear to have their offense humming.

    Next Up: The Tigers stay at home, taking on another conference opponent in Air Force. 


    North Dakota State (Overall: 0-4; Conference: 0-1): Dual Results

    NDSU hit the road for a Big 10 dual, dropping a 33-7 dual to Minnesota. Gavin Drexler and Gaven Sax were the lone winners on the day. Carlos Negrete was a late scratch for the Bison at 125 lbs, putting them in a hole early. Max Petersen has stepped into the starting lineup since Kellyn March was injured and was razor close to a ranked win today. He dropped a 2-1 decision to Drew Roberts off a stalling call in sudden victory. Gaven Sax was the high point for the Bison, as he scored a major decision over top 16 opponent Andrew Sparks. Sax was coming off a one-point loss to top-eight Justin McCoy (UVA) and is someone who has shown a lot of potential. 

    Next Up: NDSU goes on the road again, this time heading further east for a dual against Campbell on December 19th. 


    Northern Colorado (Overall: 4-1; Conference: 0-1): Dual Results

    The Bears had their first conference dual, taking on West Virginia at home. They dropped the dual 31-9, winning at 133 and 157 with bonus points. Dom Serrano had a tech fall, and Vinny Zerban scored a major decision. The most surprising result came at 125lbs, where returning Big 12 champ Stevo Poulin was upset by 2023 NJCAA champ Jett Strickenberger. After the dual head coach Troy Nickerson pointed out the team's youth, having multiple freshmen and sophomores in the lineup. 

    Next Up: The team stays at home for the UNC Quad on December 17th, taking on Otero Junior College, North Idaho, and Northwest Kansas Tech. 


    Northern Iowa (Overall: 0-1; Conference: 0-0): Dual Results

    Northern Iowa had a wild first dual of the year, dropping 28-21 to Columbia. As a whole the dual featured five pins, including three from Columbia. Jared Simma dropped a one-point match to Lennox Wolak 6-5. Cael Happel, RJ Weston, and Cael Rahnavardi were all pinned against their opponents. A big win came at 125, as redshirt freshman Trever Anderson pinned ranked Nick Babin. Ryder Downey, Parker Keckeisen, and Tyrell Gordon all scored bonus points in their matches. 

    Next Up: The Panthers head to the Collegiate Duals on December 19th, with matches against Ohio State, NC State, and Lock Haven lined up. 


    Oklahoma State (Overall: 3-0; Conference: 1-0): Dual Results

    Oklahoma State had two duals this week and went 2-0. The team beat Lehigh 25-12 before winning the first Bedlam match 28-9. Daton Fix and Luke Surber missed both duals due to injury, with Reece Witcraft and Kyle Haas stepping up in their place. Troy Spratley, Tagen Jamison, Teague Travis, Izzak Olejnik, Brayden Thompson, and Dustin Plott all went undefeated on the weekend. Witcraft went 1-1 against ranked wrestlers, losing to Ryan Crookham, but beating Jace Koelzer. Jamison went 2-0, but suffered an elbow injury against Kaden Smith that could be an injury to keep an eye on. 

    Jordan Williams got his first dual win against Lehigh, but dropped a close opportunity for a ranked win this season with a 5-4 loss to Willie McDougald. Williams was up late but attempted a backflip out of a single leg, only to put himself on his own head. Brayden Thompson got his first collegiate win and his first ranked win. Thompson hit a splade to major Tate Picklo. Teague Travis had a breakout performance, getting a ranked win at 157 after starting the season at 149. Travis also got bonus points against OU with a move to put Wiley on his back late in the dual. If he can continue then he could fill the only hole in the Cowboys lineup. 

    Next Up: OK State has a slight break, their next dual coming against Wyoming in Laramie is on December 19th. 


    Oklahoma (Overall: 4-2; Conference: 2-2): Dual Results

    Bedlam occurred in Norman and drew the largest crowd in at least 15 years for a dual. Unfortunately for the Sooners, they dropped the match 28-9. Willie McDougald and Stephen Buchanan were the lone winners in the dual. Conrad Hendriksen dropped a one-takedown match to a tough Spratley. With no Mosha Schwartz, Kaden Smith bumped up after starting the year at 133. He was down early in the first period but took top after injury time and was doing good work but couldn’t get the turn. Josh Heindselman and Konner Doucet battled in an overtime rideout match, the third consecutive match in which they’ve done so.

    Next Up: The Sooners have the Reno Tournament of Champions on December 17th listed as their next event. 


    South Dakota State (Overall: 3-1; Conference: 0-0): No Competition

    Next Up: SDSU faces Nebraska in Lincoln on December 16th. 


    Utah Valley (Overall: 1-0; Conference: 0-0): No Competition

    Next Up: The Wolverines head to the Reno TOC on December 17th.


    West Virginia (Overall: 6-1; Conference: 2-1): Dual Results (AF) | Dual Results (UNC)

    West Virginia continues their strong season, going 2-0 on the weekend against conference opponents. Jett Strickenberger notched two big ranked wins over Tucker Owens and returning Big 12 champ Stevo Poulin. His length and scrambling have been an issue for many opponents this season. Ty Watters and Peyton Hall not only went 2-0, but scored bonus points in both duals. As a true freshman, Watters has seven falls on the year. Jordan Titus, Brody Conley, and Austin Cooley also went 2-0 on the weekend. After a rough injury-filled season last year, the Mountaineers are looking to continue climbing the rankings.

    Next Up: West Virginia will host Fairmont State on December 19th for a dual. 


    Wyoming (Overall: 3-2; Conference: 1-1): Dual Results

    The Cowboys dropped a tough dual to returning Big 12 champs Missouri, losing nine matches. Their lone win was a big one, as true freshman Cole Brooks scored a pin. In a lineup of nine freshman/sophomores, Wyoming wrestled tough. Jore Volk dropped a sudden victory match to Noah Surtin, flipping a result from last year. Gabe Willochell suffered a tough upset after placing at CKLV, getting majored. Joey Novak took on three-time All-American Rocky Elam, and dropped a close 5-3 decision with a late takedown. With such a young lineup this will be a team to keep an eye on to continue to improve and start scoring some upsets of their own. 

    Next Up: Wyoming competes at the Reno TOC on December 17th.

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